Rating: 7.1 (out of 10)
No one who reads Skyfarer will ever accuse Joseph Brassey of being hip; this novel is so unabashedly dorky, it reads like something dreamed by a Mountain Dew guzzling twelve-year-old hooked on Star Wars and Final Fantasy. This sword and sorcery space adventure stands apart from everything else currently out there in the SFF market, ignoring trends in favor of the author’s personal tastes. It’s highly derivative, to be sure, but uniquely so.
The story centers around Aimee, a young “portalmage” who accidently drops her starship into the middle of a warzone, where the Vader-like Lord Azrael of the Eternal Order is on a genocidal rampage to recover a mythical gem known as the Axiom Diamond. There are space battles, prophecies, mystical swords, spellcasting and pretty much everything else you might expect from this particular mash-up of genres. The novel’s pace is the definition of breakneck; Brassey doesn’t even know where to find the pause button. The individual action set pieces are exciting, though they tend to run together a bit due to the author’s unwillingness to hit the brakes.
There’s nothing in this novel I would describe as bad – even the corny, over-inflated dialogue feels appropriate for the tone and atmosphere of the novel. For all the high melodrama and pyrotechnics, the novel didn’t quite resonate with me on an emotional level the way it seemed to want to, like some of the connective tissue that grows when subtlety and nuance are employed was missing. Still an enjoyable ride, and worth reading if you can manage to channel your inner twelve-year-old.